Our Investment in a Platform for 3D Bioprinting of Human Tissue – Aspect Biosystems Secures $20 Million in Series A Financing

Combining the power of microfluidics and 3D bioprinting to fuel medical research and the development of bioprinted tissue therapeutics that will save lives and make people healthier

By Brent MacDonald – Principal at Rising Tide

Aspect Biosystems (Aspect) seeks to revolutionize drug development, personalized medicine, and regenerative medicine by becoming the global leader in 3D human tissue technology. Its disruptive 3D bioprinting platform technology can create live human tissue on demand and has the potential to shape every aspect of human health by enabling the creation of human tissues for medical research, therapeutic discovery, and regenerative medicine. The Company was spun out from two renowned research groups in engineering and medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Aspect Biosystems’ initial products facilitate the development of highly customized physiologically-relevant 3D human tissue models. The idea is to spur the development of completely new therapeutics and to enable pharmaceutical companies to test drugs that they had shelved previously due to a lack of appropriate models. To achieve targeted results, the Company is focused on partnering with academic institutions and biopharma companies to facilitate high-value discovery and development. Aspect recently announced a partnership with JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization. The JDRF-Aspect partnership supports Aspect’s focus on developing a bioengineered tissue therapeutic for type 1 diabetes that will provide insulin independence and control of blood sugar without the need for chronic immune suppression. In addition to funding, JDRF is also contributing strategic support through its deep expertise and vast network in the diabetes field. Aspect is leveraging its proprietary bioprinting technology, therapeutic cells, and materials science to create a pipeline of cell-based tissue therapeutics that replace or repair damaged organ functions. These therapeutics are rationally engineered to be biologically functional, immune-protective, and suitable for surgical implantation to treat diseases such as type 1 diabetes.

Aspect is gaining support for its grand vision of printing full-scale human organs for transplantation, ultimately saving the lives of countless patients who die while waiting to receive transplants. In the coming quarters, the Company will continue to drive its pharma collaborations as well as advance its internal programs and begin to engage in partnering for licensing.

Aspect Biosystems announced a $20M Series A financing round in 2020 with proceeds directed toward advancing its multiple tissue therapeutic programs, expanding the technology platform capabilities, and growing its world-leading team.

Why We Are Excited?

Aspect Biosystems seeks to revolutionize drug development, personalized medicine, and regenerative medicine by becoming the global leader in 3D human tissue technology. Amongst the various players in the 3D bioprinting industry, Aspect stands out as the only one with the capability to create a mix of bio-inks on the fly – bio-inks are materials used to produce engineered/artificial live tissue using 3D printing. Such innovation allows the Company to utilize more sophisticated printhead technology while competitors continue to use the advancement-limiting premixed bio-inks. With its technology platform, interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers, and leading collaborators, Aspect Biosystems is developing a new wave of solutions that have the potential to transform how we heal injury and disease.

See Series A funding press release here.

Rising Tide Fund Managers, LLC and its affiliates (“Rising Tide” or “We”) is a United States venture capital firm investing primarily in the information technology and healthcare/life sciences markets. Over the last 35 years, we have partnered with family funds, high-impact investors, and strategic partners to help launch and expand startups in a variety of industries across three continents. We are dedicated to cooperating with our entrepreneurs at all stages: from financing to leveraging our international networks to facilitating exits by design. For more information, visit www.rtf.vc.

The portfolio companies described herein do not represent all the portfolio companies purchased, sold or recommended for portfolios advised by Rising Tide. The reader should not assume that an investment in the portfolio companies identified were or will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investors should be aware that a loss of investment is possible.